أمجد الصبان: لصوص النوم

By Youssef Rakha

By Youssef Rakha

كان يومي يبدو اعتياديا، كأيام كثيرة قبله. قضيته في العمل، أرتشف القهوة باستمتاع، أنظر من نافذتي إلي النيل، أفكر في فراغي العاطفي وخططي المسقبلية. لكن حين عدتُ إلي المنزل، تبدل الأمر كليا، كانت عادتي حين أصعد سُلم الطوابق الخمسة في البناية، أن أستند بذراعي علي الحائط مستجمعا أنفاسي ثم أطرق الباب. هذه المرة قبل أن أستند، جُذب الباب إلي الخلف مرة واحدة، ظهرت أختي علي يسار الباب بجسدها النحيل ونتوء حملها الذى بلغ الشهر الثامن ثم أمي البدينة في الوسط وجدتي القصيرة تتكئ علي عصاها وتبعد عن أمي قليلا علي اليمين. في نهاية الصالة، كان هناك مصباحا ضعيفا لا ينير ظلمة حجرة الجلوس. صاحت أختي: “أنا عرفت إنك سرقت النوم من صالح”، تبعتها “أنا كمان” من أمي بصوت أكثر انخفاضًا ثم صوت جدتي لا يسمع. نظرتُ إلي الأرض وحاولت تجاوزهن سريعا، إلا أنهن أحطنني ثلاثتهن، كانت رائحتهن واحدة، تشبه الأكل السليق، كن يضربن بأطراف أصابعهن علي جبتهي، ومع كل ضربة كنتُ أبتسم في نفسي كأن الضربة ستعيد لصالح نومه. قلت بغل: “مساكين”، وبخشونة  تملصتٌ منهن، وذهبتُ إلي غرفتي.

استمر في القراءة

Joe Linker: from “Penina’s Letters”

Burt Glinn. Surfer's Beach, Santa Monica, California. 1965. Source: magnumphotos.com

Burt Glinn. Surfer’s Beach, Santa Monica, California. 1965. Source: magnumphotos.com

The airport was jamming, very jazzy, cars cutting into the inside lanes, cars triple parked at the curb, traffic cops waving and whistling cars away that were not immediately loading or unloading passengers, a looping loudspeaker voice calling out the cadence. Tall bus shuttles from the local hotels jockeyed for position with honking yellow taxicabs hoping for a long drive up into the hills. Skycaps opened and closed doors, moving bags to and from stuffed car trunks and shaky-wheeled carts, and pocketed tips with a proud, expectant nod with no note of surreptitiousness.

If anyone took notice of us, we got no comments or looks, nary a glance, all about their own business. I pulled Penina close for another long hug, still no cameras shuttering, as if there had never been a war. We were a common couple. I had survived a war, and Penina had survived waiting. Whatever wounds she had yet to show me, her hair still smelled like baseball card bubblegum. I smelled of wheel oil, track grease, and sweat, my worn fatigues tainted from motor pool prattle, but Penina pressed her face against my chest, and I felt her take a deep breath. She rattled my dog tags playfully, and we fell in with a group of civilians waiting at a light and crossed the street. Penina pretended to help me walk through the parking lot, my arm around her shoulder. I stowed my duffle bag in the bed of the truck, and Penina drove us out of the airport, through the long tunnel under the runway, out Imperial, and down to Vista del Mar and the Pacific Ocean.

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Ali Latife: Immigrant No 1

Paolo Pellegrin. Mediterranean Sea near the Libyan coast, 2015. Source: magnumphotos.com

Paolo Pellegrin. Mediterranean Sea near the Libyan coast, 2015. Source: magnumphotos.com

And so these used ideas

here worn like clothes

will be compensated, without apology,

by the softest chords of their instrument.

— Jim Jarmusch, “Verdict with Guitar”


We were drinking homemade alcohol in a small rented apartment in Tripoli the night they stole the statue of the naked women and the gazelle from the city center. That was the last naked woman in Tripoli, possibly even in Libya. No one knows where they took it, but the word on the street is that they destroyed and threw it away or that they sold it.

We were six young men drinking homemade alcohol in a country torn apart by civil war, and for four years since the uprising in 2011 we had all suffered from humiliations inflicted by the rebel militias on almost everyone.

Four of the young men who were sitting with me in the small apartment had been incarcerated for protesting in front of Sudan’s Embassy during the Sudanese protests back in July 2012. The militia that caught them follows the same ideology as the ruling regime of Sudan. The Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist and rebel allies were the rulers of the streets back then and nowadays too. Another had been captured because he is descended from an oppressed Libyan tribe some of whose men had fought the rebels in 2011. We talked about Denmark, Germany, the beautiful lives that awaited us if we could some day get out of this god-forsaken land.

Everything had became tiring lately, the war and what was happening around us and the memories. Even to think of it is tiring, or write about it.

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